Marti-Atanasiu, Inuit

Review in Issue 12-1 | Spring 2000

This show, by Catalan performers Xavier Marti and Christian Atanasiu, won the Innovation Award for Comedy at the 1998 Moers Festival in Germany. Inuit is a series of sketches based around the notion that there is nothing in the world like a best friend. Two friends meet in the street by accident and are confused by whether to hug or shake hands. When they do hug they rip the other’s shirt. This is Marti-Atanasiu's sense of humour, a kind of sick, cartoon cruelty – yet funny, subtle and observant of the urban human at the same time. One example is a scene in which a man, who has just returned from a Christmas shopping expedition, is continually shot at. Despite the hail of bullets, he is more concerned about his keys jabbing into his leg, his sore throat and bad knees, and the fact that his shoes are pinching him, than he is about the fact he's being shot at. Other sketches deal with fears, minor ailments, snot, vertigo, loneliness and wigs.

It is interesting to see a show that is absurd and cynical and that examines life's everyday tragedies, small and large, through laughter. Yet why is it humorous to laugh at a sketch in which a man with no hands is trying to pick up a present? Another man stands by watching until he wishes to help and discovers his hands have fallen off too. Grotesque, dark humour abounds, yet the slow pace hampers the show, and the taboos that are broken are not explored enough. Only at the end when taking their applause, was there any direct contact between the two performers and the audience. For the first time, a sense of enjoyment and play between Marti and Atanasiu occurred. Yet it was somehow too little, too late.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-1
p. 22